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St. Columba begins multi-million-dollar campaign for accessibility needs

St. Columba Catholic Church is preparing a $3 million campaign to make modern and accessibility improvements to Ottawa's oldest church. An earlier campaign to improve the church's exterior was successful.
St. Columba Catholic Church is preparing a $3 million campaign to make modern and accessibility improvements to Ottawa's oldest church. An earlier campaign to improve the church's exterior was successful.

St. Columba Catholic Church in Ottawa is ramping up efforts to secure funding for a $3 million renovation.

Nearly 300 parish members and friends of St. Columba gathered for the “Supported by the Past—Building for the Future” event on Nov. 18 at the Knights of Columbus Hall, which launched a capital campaign to make significant improvements to Ottawa’s oldest and largest church. The church was established in 1838.

The first phase of the project to improve the exterior of the church has been completed.

Phase two will address the church’s need to provide handicap accessibility through the installation of an elevator as well as new heating and air conditioning throughout the church and improvements on the lower level.

The event included a keynote address by Pat Graham, a lifelong member of the parish, and a project overview by Carson Durham from BLDD Architects.

The chosen theme of “Supported by the Past—Building for the Future” is meant to signify the committed desire of members of the church to gather as one from many generations to build on the rich history of their ancestors while looking to support the future of the parish, according to a press release.

Three families offered their endorsement of the project including Craig and Barb Godwin, Ed and Cynthia Sanderson and David and Christian VanWiggeren.

The Rev. David Kipfer thanked the parish for the great success of the first phase of the campaign and his endorsement of supporting and moving forward with the next phase.

The campaign will continue through the winter of 2019. Family Campaign Packets will be distributed after all masses this weekend with the hope that renovations will commence in the spring.

The church was included on a list of "200 great places across the state" earlier in the year as selected by architects to celebrate the state's bicentennial.

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